Church's attack on pop-culture leads to controversy

8:26 AM, Sep 6, 2008   |    comments
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For 24 hours, the message board outside Havens Corners Church, 6696 Havens Corner Rd., read, "I kissed a girl and I liked it, then I went to Hell."

The message refers to the chart-topping song by pop artist Katy Perry "I Kissed A Girl."

Pastor David Allison said he didn't put up the sign to draw attention to the church.

"We didn't intend to get into all this, but it's become a bigger thing," Allison said.

He was just very concerned about the implications of the song for teenagers and what he called a music video so suggestive it borders on pornography.

"If anyone's seen the video and understands how lewd and suggestive the video is for this song, that is not something young people should go toward," Allison said.

He thought the message would be a loving way to remind teenagers that the Bible denounces homosexuality.

Taking a look at the other side of this story, some people can't believe the church displayed that message so publicly.

A viewer sent the local NBC affiliate a picture of the sign with the subject title "Worst Church Sign Ever."

The sign was removed Thursday.

Pastor Allison said it was not due to outrage. He said he received volumes of support from throughout the state.

Instead, he said, it was confusing to many people who called in or e-mailed because they didn't know to what he was referring. They were unaware of the song.

Equality Ohio said their "jaw dropped" when they saw a picture of the sign.

"It was a little jaw-dropping. But it happens and we want people to know there are more than 300 welcoming and affirming churches across Ohio," said Kim Welter, of Equality Ohio.

They maintain while the church is free to air their opinion on a reader board, members of the gay, lesbian and transgender
community will find more than 300 welcoming churches throughout Ohio.

Allison said they do welcome the GLBT community but believe they are engaged in sin.

(Coyright NBC Newschannel, All Rights Reserved.)

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